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Prima Donna
04 Feb 12 17:45
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Date Joined: 29 Apr 09
| Topic/replies: 4,152 | Blogger: Prima Donna's blog
With this stallion standing in the bargain basement section of sires how do commercial breeders rate both him and his chances?
I did see this sire last Feb sale(2011) and I must say he is a very nice looking stallion.I see he's had a book of about 70 mares and can see for such a cheap sire he's had a good share of decent mares,better perhaps than you would generally expect for one standing for so little.I'd expect with his connections that his first foals/yearlings will sell well.The foal on the RP site did look a good strong sort.For me the only downside I can see is the fact he's by Ishiguru,but then on the plus side he is a son of Danzig.Do commercial breeders rate him?
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Report potentialmillionaire February 4, 2012 8:02 PM GMT
I like the sire but ofcourse there are always, and oft commented on, worries with the basement types.

His grandfather Petong was a good getter of 2yo sprint types but not many of too much class. However he didn't stand at a trendy venue and perhaps would have been better if he'd had an agressive stud behind him. Miss Cindy, a full sister to Petong, is the grandam of Red Clubs and it is a proper speed family so he is true to his pedigree both sides.

I've not seen Hellvelyn but am very happy to believe he is a solid good type. I am not sure how much help it is but I do think that if he keeps turning up at the Tatts stallion parade where he presumably outshines most of the opposition physically then he will at least be noticed by folks who wouldn't normally register his type let alone use them. If then a nice bunch of foals turns up at the sales in December it won't necessarily be a surprise and therefore might make them easier to purchase for the more aloof type of buyer!

I do like the true speed aspect of him and provided that is mirrored in the mares he gets then who knows?
Report Johnny_Mustang February 5, 2012 10:37 AM GMT
Agree with both of you. I've always liked the Danzig-line, but am not keen one bit on Ishiguru. Was slightly surprised that he got 70 mares in his first year (by the way, did you see Haafd only had 6 mares last year - I know he's not everybody's cup of tea but surely Shadwell could have done better with him - what happened there?), so fair play to connections. Am I right in thinking Paul Thorman has some kind of ownership/part ownership in Helvellyn? If so, they would give the stallion a lot of help at the sales.

Wouldn't be surprised if he got a lot of first-crop winners, although not sure that they'd be LR/GR class.
Report Prima Donna February 5, 2012 12:12 PM GMT
Johnny,Yes I understand his ownership is split between Paul Thorman who is the major share holder,David Redvers and Roisin Close.So with them behind him and all of them know how to market a stallion I'd think he has a good as chance as any poss'even a bit more.Its surprising to see he's had some good mares even a Queen Mary winner along with the dams of some decent stakes horses.
What I can foresee is later this year his foals will sell far better than most of us would initially think,I'm sure people will say things like 'didn't even think about him'I just wonder if he will be this years 'dark horse'come sales time.Being such a precocious high class colt and being a very good looking one at such an attractive price for me he's a sire who any commercial breeder would disregard at their peril!

I often wonder why is it that anything standing with Shadwell never seem to be much cop,Haafhd is no exception.Most of their mares are too stoutly bred to offer any hope of ever getting the much needed commercial early sorts.A shame as he was a good runner I remember being very impressed with his win in the Craven after the race I said he would win the Guineas but at stud he's just slipped further and further back now plying his trade as a duel purpose stallion,says it all really.
Report Prima Donna February 5, 2012 12:22 PM GMT
I was going to add that with so many people looking in on this forum I'm surprised that more people don't join in,I'm sure you all have opinions why not share them with us?There is no clear cut answers so no one is going to be wrong.
Report SquidlyDiddly February 5, 2012 1:26 PM GMT
i think there are plenty of mostly lurkers like myself who log on for a read of the forum and find it informative and quite often entertaining, but as someone relatively new to the game and with only one mare, I'm not sure I can really add much to the discussion relative to the esteemed and vastly more experienced posters for whom it is a business rather than a hobby. Sometimes the best thing to do in a conversation is to listen! I've had quite a tough start and the more i can learn the better

For what its worth, I saw Helvellyn at Tatts 2011 and he looked a nice type but there were a few more decent options last year (went to Showcasing, long pasterns an all) and Helvellyn again made the shortlist in 2012 with the dearth of decent options
Report Prima Donna February 5, 2012 2:22 PM GMT
I do understand SquidlyDiddly even with just the one mare its always good to get others people views on the industry all opinions are valid we can all learn from others.The good thing about being involved in this game is no one knows everything as I said we ALL can learn and we all find other views interesting.
Sorry to hear you have had a tough start,as breeders it can sometimes feel like a roller-coaster ride the highs are great but then the lows are at times disastrous,we all know the feeling when horses make us look like fools!
Showcasing is a great choice his foals will I've no doubt be sought after later on this year,so with some luck (and we all need that at times)your luck should change for the better I certainly hope so.Let us know who you decide to use this year and what the mare has colt or filly.Helvellyn is imo a sound choice.
Report potentialmillionaire February 5, 2012 2:48 PM GMT
An interesting point. 74 people down as having viewed this post but not many replies.

Am I grateful for your last post Prima, as I had a great rambling dissertation about to wing it's way and your reply made me realise I had completely missread Squidly's last point!

I had a sob story this year on the slack pastern front Squidly. And you've guessed it, that mare is now in foal to Showcasing! I'm hoping that a stylish mating might forgive me this particular mismatch and that even more endless scrutiny to eliminate the problem would just have left me with a different and worse set of problems!

As I've said on here before I think I can sometimes squeeze the flair out of the job with a combination of 'experience' and over analysis so it's always potentially useful to hear off newer people in the game to perhaps help us 'de-complicate' if you like.

I feel that Haafhd was plenty expensive enough when he started out but he must surely have covered enough mares from different backgrounds to make a splash. Not good enough is my in depth, expert and long awaited opinion Wink
Report SquidlyDiddly February 5, 2012 3:42 PM GMT
thanks for the good wishes

I've had some bad luck/poor decisions in the first few years on a couple of in foal mares to learn on and I've taken all (or most, still not sure of the integrity of the sales ring and what is the real price/goes home on a different lorry) with good spirits and am keep to soldier on for a while yet as I burn money quicker than the KLF. My aim is to breed a winner (first 2yos this year) and then hopefully breed a good one. The game is as tough as i imagined but the long lead times add an extra dimension to the difficulty

My decks have been cleared and now gonna concentrate on my darling mare, dual winner at a modest level from a popular 30k+ stallion out of a blacktype winning mare, half sister to 100+ type. She is about to deliver her Showcasing in the next couple of weeks and then its off to Bushranger for her who with my budget/mare profile seems to offer the best option this year (a decision which the sentiment on here helped to reinforce his very obvious positives)- foal to be sold when he is champion first season sire in 2013 (or thats the plan!).

Bit worried about sending her and the foal over to Ireland soon after she has delivered her first foal but everyone been very helpful thus far and now looking forward to it, esp as it gives me an excuse for a trip back home to the land of the ancestors

Not been in the game long but 2012 was a particularly miserable time looking for a stallion in my price bracket/mare profile and hopefully next year will be a tad more interesting
Report potentialmillionaire February 5, 2012 7:01 PM GMT
Well squidly there is certainly lots to learn and I hope your fortunes take a turn for the better as it is fun when it happens. Downsides a plenty for sure. Chuck any specific problems you have onto here and someone better at the game than me may have some really good advice for you.

A couple of your last points. Really good horses will sell well despite the skulduggery you ellude to.
There are certainly groups with vested interests who will not bid against each other. I had a horse at the sales last year that had 8 vets but I reckoned that 4 of those potential buyers wouldn't take each other on. However you only need two, that old cliche, but it is true!
Ordinary horses will struggle without a dodgy deal which I accept leaves me vulnerable and bad ones I try not to take to the sale atall right now. So aim high, for the foal/yearling they cannot resist.
Your darling mare I am sure is the next Hasili. However for those of us that don't have such luminaries in our string it is good practice to remember that a good commercial mare is tough to stumble on even at a modest level. Try and weed out the lesser light of a mare early, they are usually recognisable after 2 or 3 foals.

I too agree that it wasn't particularly easy with stallion choices this year, indeed I'm still not entirely sorted, because 1st season value just wasn't there for the most part.
Report Prima Donna February 5, 2012 7:17 PM GMT
SquidlyDiddly,Don't worry about sending her over here,loads of foals make the crossing both ways each year.Using Bushranger this year is not such a bad idea as with the numbers he's covered I think he has a real good chance of being CH first season sire.And one things certain he sure does get great looking stock,that always helps when you set off to the sales as by and large a very good looking foal/yearling will almost always sell.
I have used him  with a few mares and so far have been delighted with what I've got,saying that mind I have one who has gone from drama to drama its almost got to the stage of 'what the hell has it done now'its a pity as its out of a young mare from a very good family a mare with so much potential.But that's horses for you!
One piece of advice I will offer you is don't fall into the thinking that the more you pay for a stallions fee is reflected in the price you will achieve come the time you want to sell,as many seem to think this is the case.We keep saying when selecting stallions have in your mind you are better to be in the said sires top 10/20% of his book.When aiming to sell always go for a stallion who is himself commercial,precocious and good looking or a new stallion son of the stallion,Bushranger is just the sort who fills that criteria.Reading your post you seem to have a handle on that aspect of commercial breeding.Well done and good luck.
Report ovalu February 5, 2012 9:14 PM GMT
Well to my untrained eye Hellvelyn ticks the boxes, fast precocious and good looking (in the pictures I saw)and if he was in Ireland I think I'd definatly use him for my one and only, as an aside can someone tell me what is so unattractive about the muck marketed Elusive Pimpernell that he only stands for 1k? Again I admit to being a newbie at this but to me he looks good (again in the photos) was a very impressive 2yo twice beating Poets Voice, impressive group 3 winner at 3, by a sire of good sires. Is it a lack of speed in the pedigree thats the drawback? I am in the hunt for a bargain basement sire at the moment,
Report ovalu February 5, 2012 9:20 PM GMT
typo "much marketed"
Report Prima Donna February 5, 2012 9:25 PM GMT
Elusive Pimpernell.........too big 16.3hh not the sort to get commercial types giving him a try as a flat stallion,but just the sort to end up a jumping stallion.If you are looking for a bargain basement stallion then have a look at Sweep lane studs Le Cadre Noir a superb looking son of commercial sire Danetime 2.5keuro but as ever deals available.Sure to get looking fast sorts I like him.
Report ovalu February 5, 2012 9:48 PM GMT
Thanks for the advice, my mare is small so I thought a big stallion might suit but no good I guess if he's not commercial as thats what its all about. Would Le Cadre Noir's race record be a  drawback? only group victory being a group 3 in Italy?
Report Prima Donna February 5, 2012 9:54 PM GMT
Not really ovalu as with his sort he will be judged on his stock the fact he was both tough and fast and the popularity of his sire Danetime along with Bushrangers hysteria atm.I remember years ago the same thing said about Alzao a GR3 winner in Italy didn't do him any harm did it!
Report SquidlyDiddly February 7, 2012 12:41 AM GMT
Thanks for the wise words - not paying too much is a key area of discipline which i've been trying to stick to despite all the bright lights since the start
With foals, anything above a healthy one with foal and mare doing well is a bonus and fingers crossed for everyone over the coming weeks and months
Report potentialmillionaire April 3, 2012 11:30 AM BST
Anyone seen the pictures floating about of the foals? A few walking pics which is annoying but it's hard not to be impressed. I'm just wondering if they are actually looking a more commercial bunch than the Makfis !!!
Report Prima Donna April 3, 2012 12:38 PM BST
I too have seen the 'photo's and like you I'm very happy at what I've so far seen,and whilst the Makfis do look nice enough sorts......do they really look that early?We have a couple of his they are good sorts but looking at them doubt any of them will be heading to Doncaster for the Brocklesbury!
Report yer ma April 16, 2012 9:13 PM BST
So is the 'consensus' that this boy might have a commercial chance? I did like him at Tatts in Feb. Any idea of numbers/quality of mares THIS year and can I expect a deal.  We've had a nearly 3 week early foal and the mare might be worth a 'splash & dash' to a son of Danzig (not a long list).  Only one mare left and its a Rail Link....maybe not such a lost cause anymore given recent results.
Report Prima Donna April 16, 2012 10:05 PM BST
yer ma, I would say that yes, the consensus is that he will be surprisingly commercial. Though only a cheap horse he has some influential backers and their marketing has been very good. All the foals seem to be good strong sorts as well which always helps. As far as numbers go I am told that he will have a similar sized book this time and bookings have been going well so may even exceed that. Deals are available and there are v.generous discounts around for decent mares.Also connections are supporting him well this season and have worked hard to maintain the quality. I would think that many stallions standing in a higher fee range would be pleased to get the level of mare this sire has had.
Report yer ma April 16, 2012 10:12 PM BST
Helpful thank you.  I will get my pa (er. wife) to quiz Roisin.
Report potentialmillionaire April 16, 2012 10:18 PM BST
He is very fertile yer ma and I gather that his first try at 4 mares in a day resulted in 4 pregnancies so you should be in with a great shot if your mare is anything like straightforward.

I gather that he is likely to cover a few more mares this season than last as bookings have gone well so it reads encouragingly for him right now. I think that at the sort of money involved and hopefully only a couple of vets visits he is as good a shot as a cheapie can be.
Report potentialmillionaire May 2, 2012 12:09 PM BST
Did you/ are you yer ma?

The friends of mine who went - well let's just say they wouldn't have made it easy for the sire - but he's done the job so all power to his swimmers I say.
Report truehoncho May 2, 2012 2:37 PM BST
do you know if they got a good deal PotM. I have a mare that I was looking for a cheap cover, I was thinking of Misu Bond but H may be a bit more saleable. What do you think. By the way MB 1k
Report WinningColors May 2, 2012 4:07 PM BST
Well, I have one of the HELLVELYNs, a colt and he is one cracking foal, the mare's best looker so far. Whether he has an engine or not, should he ever even reach a racecourse (an achievement that always amazes me!) having been bought by a competent trainer, remains to be seen !

Anyone thnking of sending a mare need have no worries at all on how well she'll be managed - Roisin is extremely able and very caring indeed.
Report potentialmillionaire May 2, 2012 4:25 PM BST
I don't think truehonco that they will go that low for Hellvelyn but enquire because there is movement for sure and as WinningColors says, Roisin Close is one of the games good guys and a total horseman through and through.

I would be Hellvelyning it over Misu because he is at a less risky time in his career.

Glad to hear you have a great colt WinningColors - The Holy Grail!
Report Prima Donna May 2, 2012 5:11 PM BST
I'd agree with Pot M truehoncho.Of those two sires Hellvelyn offers a better chance of a return atm,both get good sorts but one is looking tricky and this year is crunch time........There is movement on the fee but for the best deal I'd give Paul Thorman a ring as he is the controller.

WinningColors,Is he getting a lot of fillies?Most of his foal pictures are of fillies,glad you have a good colt all his foals look good mind.
Report WinningColors May 2, 2012 11:23 PM BST
He was getting more fillies on his earlier foals but Roisin says later ones are colts for some reason. Yes, phone Paul Thorman if you're looking for a deal - I've no idea, though, what the deals are will depend on mare, I guess.

Thanks for good wishes - this farm's always been known as the filly factory, so good to get a colt!
Report Prima Donna May 9, 2012 7:27 PM BST
Was told today his book as of today stands at 89 mares.........incredible!Connections looking forward to this years sales,looking at his foals I can see why.I'd have to say one of the best looking sires standing in the UK right now and really stamping his stock too.Brilliant!Cool
Report potentialmillionaire May 9, 2012 7:45 PM BST
Am I a little cruel to bring up River Falls?

Bargain basement, but out they all bounced of their foal boxes at Goffs and the world sat up and took notice.

I'm reminded of that by Hellvelyn. Hope the future is a little more rosy!
Report Prima Donna May 9, 2012 8:00 PM BST
No I don't suppose you are being cruel and given time you could well be right,but Hellvelyn has right now a bit of momentum behind him and whilst breeders do look to the future commercial ones seize the moment and capitalize on his popularity.With his numbers higher than last year I guess breeders were well aware he could be seen as just a son of Ishiguru but also could see he was a good looking one.What's good is that as his foals are so good commercial breeders can see they have a real chance of a return,esp'for his fee hence the larger book size.Not to mention the value he offers.What does surprise me is you didn't use him.
Report yer ma May 9, 2012 8:02 PM BST
PDs got a thing for Roisin I reckon.  Surely not affection for the trickledown mob anyway.  Jibes aside we have one of the 89 so toot toot on the Hellvelyn train.
Report Prima Donna May 9, 2012 8:19 PM BST
Well done yer ma, sound choice and good luck,but I have to say I've never met the young lady Roisin Close.........not yet anyway!Wink
Report potentialmillionaire May 9, 2012 8:20 PM BST
I'm just playing Devil's Advocate as you know!

Well done to all of you having a go, I would be quite happy if it was me. I didn't love him enough to try and fit a mare in regardless, but if it had been possible this year or last then I would have given it a go for sure.

I'm fairly wrapped up with some of your favourites Prima, so cut me some slack here!

Much fuel to your boiler yer ma!
Report WinningColors May 10, 2012 12:44 PM BST
My mare's going back to him on Monday - bit of a longshot as to whether or not she'll get in foal but if she does, great, if not, well we've had an amazing run with her. Who know's with a first season sire ? Breeding's a gamble even when you can afford the best.

Anyway, anyone with a mare there that's safely in foal, bloody go and pick her up as Roisin's chocka and my mare needs the best box - she'd be one of his best :)
Report potentialmillionaire May 10, 2012 1:42 PM BST
Well 2 times barren old mare who was washed out post covering and chucked out 2 gallons of muck is safely in foal WinningColors, so if your a longshot, I reckon you've shortened your odds as much as is possible. Good Luck!
Report WinningColors May 10, 2012 5:31 PM BST
Well, that's excellent news pm - hope she foals a colt!
Report WinningColors May 22, 2012 11:32 AM BST
If anyone wants to take a look at a good selection of HELLVELYN foals, if you go to Buckland Farm and Stud's FaceBook page, plenty to look at! Including mine, under ex SSH
Report Prima Donna May 22, 2012 12:20 PM BST
Have looked at that WinningColors,the thing that strikes me is the number of fillies he seems to be getting.Saying that mind they all look good sorts.Do you know yet his fillies/colts ratio?As that's my only concern with him.And yes yours does look a nice foal,I'd be happy with one like that.
Report WinningColors June 10, 2014 7:05 AM BST
Well, nice when a plan comes together!!! OK, only a Class 5 yesterday but DOC CHARM certainly won nicely and, as on another forum I had plenty of negative comments about the colt looking like a foal from an old dam, I think he's disproved that theory...!! Just hope he follows in the steps of his two good half brothers, who both won second time out. Ground was soft yesterday, too, which maybe wouldn't have been an obvious preferred surface for him, as his dam certainly didn't go well on it. Full brother goes to Donny Premier, God Willing and in fact looks an altogether nicer colt.

Chuffed to bits!
Report potentialmillionaire June 10, 2014 10:30 AM BST
Well done indeed Winning.

No doubt about it, a win like that keeps us going for ages doesn't it? There is seemingly never a time in this game when we don't need a little boost or affirmation as to why we do it.

A 6 length win in however modest company certainly keeps the dream alive. Great news.
Report hyper25 June 16, 2014 10:14 AM BST
Looks like doc charm going to Newmarket for the July stakes  winningcolors  ,
Report redal2 June 29, 2014 10:06 PM BST
I was going to add that with so many people looking in on this forum I'm surprised that more people don't join in,I'm sure you all have opinions why not share them with us?There is no clear cut answers so no one is going to be wrong.

I love looking in here, it has much more knowledgeable insight than the rest of this forum. I am trying to get increasing understanding of breeding influences but I'm also intrigued and caught up in the stories of you breeders and the decisions you make. However, I know very little in comparison so never really feel qualified to comment. I enjoy comparing the hard stats with the tripe that commentators come out with, eg regarding first season sires, and form some impressions. Hellvelyn seems to me to have made a promising start certainly compared to the distinctly average returns of the more hyped Zebedee. Meanwhile I wish you all well and look forward to more of your insights and stories.
Report Wilycayote June 30, 2014 10:55 AM BST
I think Zebedee is doing "ok" (better than some, not as good as he could be doing with his numbers). But it annoys me how he's so frequently mentioned by the ATR & RUK commentators above everything else....The simple reasons being;

- They all watched the TV show Magic Roundabout as kids
- He was retired after his 2yo career so he is more fresh in the memory
- Commentators are obsessed by team Hannon

Its good they make an effort, but they need to scratch a little deeper to be interesting. For me, the likes of Fast Company & Showcasing have been doing far better with arguably less opportunity.
Report yer ma June 30, 2014 11:54 AM BST
Hard to look past Starspangly and Showcasing if you want a freshman sire story.  On the later, it truly reveals how little the agents know given he went stone cold at the yearling sales (for no good reason that I could see).
Report WinningColors August 27, 2014 10:33 PM BST
Well, yesterday saw the last of SONGSHEET's foals to go through the yearling sales  - he sold very well, I thought and I wish the new owners the very best of luck with him. The mare has been an unbelievable producer for us - best £5k I've ever spent or will ever spend buying her and HELLVELYN came good for is at least!!
Report yer ma August 27, 2014 10:49 PM BST
Hellvelyn sold really well - they look like racehorses and that's more than half the battle.  Equiano and Makfi are dying a death.
Report potentialmillionaire August 28, 2014 10:02 AM BST
Well done WinningColors. With an older mare and a late foaling date it's easy to get pulled backwards into Disasterville, in fact I would go as far to say it's almost impossible not to be! Your colt must have been very nice, after all H has not set the world alight but I suppose with his numbers he will surely have benefitted from not having upset too many people too.
Good old Bonnie Grey, she turns up and sticks herself in front of the TV cameras, done him a power of good I should think.

I personally couldn't see Makfi doing much atall this year so why people thought Donny would be the place to take them who knows. I can only imagine the ones that went there weren't nice enough to figure at Tatts or Goffs. One or two really nice ones will sell there ok, but he is in no mans land for sure.

There's going to be a lot of sires fizzling out right now. After all it was such a large intake of commercial first seasoners in 2011 that there was never going to be room for them all to succeed at the sales in anything other than their 1st season.
Report Eont August 28, 2014 1:00 PM BST
What percentage of Makfi's went to France.
If it is high logic would suggest so his 2yo chances will seriously be compromised.
he could look a different kettle of fish this time next year.
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